The Coalition for Canadian Research is calling on the federal government to increase funding for Canadian research. The coalition”which includes organizations such as Association of Faculty of Medicines of Canada, Canadian Alliance of Student Associations, Canadian Association of University Teachers, U15 Canada, and Universities Canada”pointed to stagnant levels of financial support in its call for urgent change. “All the leading countries in the world are embracing science and research as the way to build a globally competitive, resilient and prosperous society,” said U15 CEO Dr Chad Gaffield. “Canada must match the ambition of our peers to advance knowledge and develop highly-qualified talent for the benefit of all on an increasingly competitive global stage.”
Toronto Metropolitan University has implemented a new Indigenous Wellbeing and Cultural Practice Leave, which allows full-time Indigenous staff to take up to five days of paid leave per year to support their healing and wellbeing. This includes taking time to participate in traditional practices and ceremonies. Part-time staff will be allocated prorated leave based on their weekly hours. TMU President Mohamed Lachemi explained that this initiative responds to the broader historical context in which Indigenous People have been systematically denied the right to practice their cultural and spiritual traditions. “It is my hope that this provides a tangible, yet small step in our university’s continued path of reconciliation,” said Lachemi.
The Weston Family Foundation has awarded $1M each to teams from 10 Canadian postsecondary institutions as they embark on the second phase of a sustainable and scalable agriculture technology challenge. The challenge is focused on the creation of sustainable, cost-competitive growing solutions. Teams from Bishop’s University, Collège Boréal, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Ontario Tech University, Simon Fraser University, Toronto Metropolitan University, University of Guelph, University of Ottawa, Université Laval, and Western University will use the funds to engage in projects that range from berry growing to navigating extreme weather events.
The British Columbia Institute of Technology and the Gene Haas Foundation have opened the Gene Haas Manufacturing Lab. The facility, which was supported by a $1M donation from the Gene Haas Foundation, is an expansion and modernization of BCIT’s former Machinist Workshop. The new space has an optimized floor plan and workflow, a designated CNC Machinist training area, and new equipment that will be used for interdisciplinary training. The facility will enable BCIT to train an additional 45 students a year as Machinist Apprentices. “The new Gene Haas Manufacturing Lab is an excellent example of the power of industry-education collaboration, and will enable BCIT to continue to train highly skilled workers that meet the demands of the manufacturing sector in BC,” said BCIT President Dr Jeff Zabudsky.
A group of researchers from Canadian universities have published a study in the on how junior scientists’ interdisciplinary research competencies were affected by participating in an interdisciplinary trainee network. The researchers discuss past studies on how exposure to interdisciplinarity prepares junior researchers to deal with more complex research issues. They use an informal interdisciplinary trainee network established at McMaster University’s McMaster Institute for Research on Aging (MIRA) as a case study to better understand how these kinds of training experiences inform the development of interdisciplinary research competencies. Trainees stated that participating in the network had many professional and personal benefits, such as exposing them to new perspectives and unique career development opportunities.
Two health-related programs at Canadian universities have recently been formally recognized. The University of Saskatchewan College of Nursing’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) has received a seven-year approval rating from the College of Registered Nurses of Saskatchewan. This rating, which is the highest level of approval possible from the College, enables graduates of the program to write the national licensing exam and become registered nurses. Thompson Rivers University’s Veterinary Technology Diploma program has been accredited by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association. The accreditation means that those who complete their program and pass the Veterinary Technician National Examination will be able to work as registered veterinary technologists nearly anywhere across North America.
Red Deer Polytechnic and Saskatchewan Polytechnic have both received significant investments from the Government of Canada’s PrairiesCan initiative. RDP received $1.07M to increase its additive manufacturing capacity in the Centre for Innovation in Manufacturing — Technology Access Centre (CIM-TAC). With this funding, CIM-TAC will provide industry partners, students, and faculty with increased access to state-of-the-art equipment and applied learning and research opportunities. Sask Polytech’s new Energy Resources laboratory received a combined donation of $1.35M from PrairiesCan and SaskPower. In this new lab, students will experiment with and learn about sustainable energy technologies, smart grids, and energy-efficient home construction processes.
CanAssist, an organization based at the University of Victoria, has received a $1M grant to develop technologies that support people with disabilities. This funding will support the creation of customized assistive technologies and devices for use in the workplace. “We all benefit when everyone has opportunities that help them live a fulfilling life,” said Murray Rankin, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head. “I’m glad that the University of Victoria campus will be the incubator of CanAssist’s new technologies, benefiting many people with disabilities.”
Mount Saint Vincent University is piloting new micro-credential programming with inaugural offerings on the topic of long-term, caregiving, and aging. Learners have the option of enrolling in either a continuing care or case management micro-credential. In the Continue Caring micro-credential, students will learn how to navigate the continuing care system and advocate to ensure they–or their families–receive the supports they require. In the Case Management Fundamentals micro-credential, aspiring and new professionals will learn how to become effective case managers. These two offerings are the first of a longer series of microcredentials that will be rolled out with the aim of making learning opportunities more accessible for all.
Olds College of Agriculture and Technology and the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology have each received equipment donations from local industry. Olds and SeedMaster Manufacturing Ltd have initiated a new 10-year partnership, under which the latter will provide select equipment to the college’s smart form in support of operations and research. So far, SeedMaster has donated a SeedMaster Toolbar–to deliver precise seed and fertilizer placement–and a UltraPro II 550–which supports individual row metering. SAIT’s School of Transportation was recently gifted a 1975 Bell 206 MSN 1682 Helicopter from Eagle Copters Ltd and a Jetstream 41 aircraft flight compartment from donor and former Royal Canadian Air Force pilot Marty Abbott. These donations will benefit SAIT’s aviation programming and provide students with hands-on training opportunities.